Introduction

 

The Global Financing Facility is a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports country-led efforts to improve the health of women, children, and adolescents by:

  • Acting as an innovative financing pathfinder to accelerate the efforts to reach the 2030 goals for women’s, children’s, and adolescents’ health;
  • Financing high impact, evidence- and rights-based interventions to achieve measurable and equitable results;
  • Building inclusive, resilient systems and increasing domestic financing over time to sustain the gains and ensure that all women, children, and adolescents have access to essential healthcare, contributing to universal health coverage;
  • Filling the financing gap by mobilizing additional resources from public and private sources, both domestic and international, and making more efficient use of existing resources.
 

A critical time for every woman, child, and adolescent

In the past two decades, the world has taken unprecedented steps to save the lives of women, children, and adolescents. According to The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015, since 1990:

  • The global under-five child mortality rate has declined by more than half; and
  • The maternal mortality ratio has declined by 45 percent worldwide.

Despite this progress, far too many women, children, and adolescents continue to die from preventable conditions every year, and far too few have reliable access to quality health services. According to the United Nations,

  • More than six million children still die before their fifth birthday each year;
  • The proportion of mothers who do not survive childbirth compared to those who do (maternal mortality ratio) in developing regions is 14 times higher than in the developed regions; and
  • Only half of women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of health care they need.

The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030. Healthy women, children, and adolescents are the foundations of robust economies and resilient societies. We have no hope of meeting the SDGs unless we deliver on the agenda for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH).

A US$33.3 billion roadblock to progress

There is a US$33.3 billion funding gap (2015) for RMNCAH in high-burden, low- and lower-middle-income countries, which amounts to US$9.42 per capita per year.

The good news is that we have the knowledge, means, and capability to close this gap.

We know what works to prevent maternal and child deaths and to promote healthy women and children. We just need to do it.

It is time to end our complacency. Taking bold action has the potential to save lives in big ways: We can prevent an estimated 3.8 million maternal deaths, 101 million child deaths, and 21 million stillbirths in high-burden countries by 2030.

The GFF partnership: An innovative pathfinder to funding

The goal of the Global Financing Facility (GFF), launched by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, at the Third International Financing for Development Conference in July 2015, is to accelerate global efforts to end preventable maternal and child deaths and improve the health and quality of life of women, children, and adolescents by 2030. Housed at the World Bank, the GFF is a key financing platform of the United Nations Secretary-General’s updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030), supported by the Every Woman Every Child global movement, and of the SDGs. Only by working together can we expedite progress.

A country-centered focus

The GFF focuses on 62 high-burden low- and lower-middle-income countries. National governments lead the process with the involvement of the broad set of RMNCAH stakeholders involved in the RMNCAH response coordinated through a country platform. For example, the Ministry of Finance is a critical stakeholder in the process and so should be involved in every country. In many countries responsibility for civil registration and vital statistics is split between several government ministries, so each of these need to engage as appropriate. The country platform draws on the comparative advantages of the stakeholders, including:

  • The financing of the World Bank Group, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and bilateral donors;
  • The technical expertise and normative mandates of United Nations agencies;
  • The reach and community-connectedness of non-governmental and faith-based organizations; and
  • The capacity and speed of the private sector.

Underpinned by International Health Partnership (IHP+) principles, the GFF began by piloting the model in four countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania . At its official launch in July 2015, an additional eight countries were added: Bangladesh, Cameroon, India, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda.

Smart, scaled, and sustainable financing for results

The GFF provides RMNCAH financing that is:

  • Smart: Ensures that health systems are strong and make high-impact, evidence-based interventions a priority;
  • Scaled: Mobilizes resources from domestic and international, public, and private partnerships to fully fund the RMNCAH agenda;
  • Sustainable: Secures universal access to essential RMNCAH services by capturing economic growth opportunities and addressing transitional challenges and serves as an entry point for the Universal Health Care agenda.